I am convinced that the next new wave of Reality TV Shows are tending to go towards the absurd. But, again I am very guilty of watching them because Reality TV tends to hook their audience. The more absurd, the more one is glued to the television screen. Reality Television is often not as real as it would appear. I think people are catching on more and more.
TLC has "Sister Wives" which I watch because I think it is so insane. It is about a Mormon dude that has not 1, not 2, not 3...but 4 wives. For anyone watching the show, the average person is not a polygomous. In my husband's words "In this economy, who the heck can afford 1 wife let alone 4!" Sister wives, seems to reflect the unusual life of one guy who has four wives that live in Las Vegas and each of them have their own house. He is currently unemployed I think or looking for work. I am not exactly sure who is paying for 4 separate house holds? Would they be making enough money from TLC? The Gosslins made money from TLC, I suppose being filmed isn't such a bad gig. Don't get me wrong, I love reality shows. I watch them and would love to even work for TLC or Bravo or Discovery. I am addicted to reality shows. But, I can't help but feel like the title should be changed to "Not Typical Reality" or "Not the Norm Reality" or "Non-Realistic Reality."
Maybe the more unusual and absurd the more we want to watch? Take "Extreme Couponing" for example. This show is by far the most non-realistic reality show on today. It gives us false expectations that we can go out and get all this food for free using coupons. I do not know where all these people get stacks and stacks of coupons and then spend up to $500 worth of groceries and get it usually for $30 or even for free. Most of them, if you have ever watched the show- tend to buy stuff for bulk but stuff that is usually bad for you. Stuff like 3 dozen boxes of twinkies and 4 pounds of candy and 20 cans of processed food. Either way, I tried going on line and printing out coupons and looking for them. There is no way on earth a person can realistically gather that many coupons without some sort of help. Maybe help from the network filming them? Who knows, but either way I do not see how any real person can actually go out there and get 500, 600, $700 worth of groceries for free using coupons. Some people on the show have actually broken the register because of all their coupons being scanned. I don't know, call me skeptical, but that is one show I am not sure about and would fall under my "Non-Realistic" category of reality shows.
My last "Non-Realistic" reality show is "Hoarders." The show can make you want to clean your house. Yes, I also watch the show and like it. But, I also think that it is not the norm. Most people fall into something in between. The people that are on the show fall under the extremes. Some of us have clutter in our home, a bit of a mess but not to such extremes as seen on this show. Again, "Non-Realistic" reality shows. I can name more, but I won't. In my opinion, reality shows are going to get much more extreme in nature.
CONCLUSION: We will continue to exploite the extremes, the weird, and the absurd. Why? Because it sells and because it makes those that are watching feel less screwed up or perhaps normal people are boring to watch.